BIBLE READING: Acts 13-14
It is hard being a Christian isn’t it? As Christians we must face so much persecution in this world. There are times when we are laughed at because of the way we act, dress, or how we talk. Since we are to be different from the world, the world has decided to criticize, mock and at times, verbally abuse us. It is no wonder the church isn’t growing like it did in the first century, because people just don’t want to be part of a movement that faces so much persecution. It is just so much easier to quit living the Christian life, rather than face all the harsh criticism we must face. Of course, I am being facetious! Yes, we do in fact face criticism and persecution for our faith, but it is nothing like what is around the world. Even today, in some countries it is against the law to have a worship service or to even have a Bible out in public. There is also no comparison to the persecution we face today and the persecution the early Christians faced in the early church. In our Bible reading for the day we see just a glimpse of what Paul went through as he was preaching the Gospel in Lystra. As he was preaching, there was a massive crowd that had followed him from Antioch and Iconium that dragged him out of the city and stoned him, leaving him for dead. In fact, according to the text, they thought he was dead. I believe he was dead and God raised him up because He still had some work to do for the kingdom. When the other disciples gather around him, did Paul stand up and said “Well… I will never do that again! This job is too dangerous!”. Of course, he didn’t! The Bible says that he went right back into the city and just kept on preaching! Let’s allow Paul be an example to us. Our lives may never be at risk because we are Christians, but we will have to face some persecution; but don’t quit! Why, because just as Paul said “…in due season we will reap, if we faint not”(Galatians 6.9).